vintage silk

red silk 1

yes, i realize these photos are taken in a bathroom... and how incredibly tacky that is, haha. but i forgot to take an outfit picture until the sun had set and it was night already. and i thought i'd be all artsy fartsy and coordinate my red top with the red flower photos on the wall.

these silk tops were my mom's way back when, but mine now that she's stopped wearing them. the light material is perfect for these hot days and the shoulder pads add a nice new silhouette.

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top: vintage/mom's, shorts: F21, necklace: from a temple in Taiwan

vintage silk
top: vintage/mom's, shorts: really old from Old Navy; belt: Taiwan, sunglasses: F21

finally finally done with the big room reorg/overhaul... it's amazing the sorts of treasures (junk?) you find tucked away after years and years. exhibit A: old corsages I had saved from high school dances years back... guess I could never let go of how pretty they were


on another note, the boy is visiting for a few days =D we're going to malibu today, oh, and he bought me the sart book!!
(wow, mondays are never usually this good)



As of today it's been exactly 4 years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. To be honest, when it happened, I was a little more oblivious than I'd like to admit, and after my initial shock and devastation, I didn't give it much thought. We've all heard the complaints about how long it look President Bush to react and respond to the situation, and if you've poked a little further I'm sure you've come across discussions regarding other reasons as to why recovery was/has been so slow and labored -the racial and class disparities in NOLA that were made all the more apparent with Katrina, favored rebuilding of NOLA's tourist hot spots, the subpar quality of the city's levees designed by the Army Corps of Engineers (paid much less than engineers in the private sector, and as a part of the government -'unable to be sued').

The attention and awareness of the situation and underlying injustices are, in some ways, the silver lining to it all. It's great to see that the nation's people will come together and volunteer to rebuild the city and its communities. I myself participated in Magnolia Project, through Cal, earlier this summer on a 3 week student-led volunteer service trip. It wasn't until I actually got down there and started working though, that I saw so many more layers and complications in the rebuilding situation.

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James Turner's school/community garden in the Lower Ninth Ward

For example, Obama says that they are planning to offer financial incentives to attract businessmen, community workers, teachers, and professionals to NOLA. But what about sustainable solutions? Working with a community from within, using it's own members, motivating and rewarding themselves and each other? Offering financial incentives to new professionals is one way to get some progress going (and probably one of the quickest), but why are they welcomed and encouraged to move to NOLA when pre-Katrina residents are still scattered all over the country?

We saw this a lot too, once we had started volunteering... volunteers will come in to do construction, garden work, daycare, whatever it was, displacing NOLA's own construction workers, gardeners, and babysitters, leaving them unemployed. Additionally, these professionals that are attracted to come to New Orleans and help rebuild it and volunteers have pushed up the real estate prices in the city, making it even tougher for New Orleanians to move home. ...in some ways it is all sort of backfiring, at least with these approaches. In a lot of ways, I think my Magnolia Project trip was more valuable for me than it was for the residents and community members that I helped. The amount of drywalling that 60 students can do in 3 weeks is, although a lotttt, still pretty insignificant. But I'd like to think what we saw and learned down there will be much more influential -and that we'll be able to take back lessons learned and apply them to our own communities at home.

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katrina 3
working with local children at a summer camp

I'm glad that attention is still being paid to the post-Katrina situation, and that it's still on the government agenda, but I do think there needs to be a more internal, community approach to these solutions -more grants to community organizations so they can pay employees instead of being forced to rely on volunteer work... that sort of thing. (oh and how about Brad Pitt's Make It Right project in the Lower Ninth Ward? I think at this point, going green is almost just plain trendy... fancy solar panel rooftops being built in an abandoned neighborhood when all the Lower Ninth needs are just more houses? ...and the house are, in my opinion, uglyyyy)

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destroyed and abandoned in the Lower 9th, and literally 2 minutes away from it.... the LegoLand-esque Make It Right houses:
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I'm rambling again (but isn't that what this blog is for?), but anyways, what's this mean for us?
  • engage your own community -work with/for the people you live with and interact with them regularly
  • don't do charity just for the sake of charity... it's selfish and can actually make the situation worse for whoever/whatever you're trying to help
  • sustainable solutions if you really want to see long-term change, recovery and prevention
  • go green! =) (as always) they say that part of the reason why Hurricane Katrina was a category 5 storm was due to global warming, and that a lot of the natural levees that would have seriously curbed the amount of damage done to NOLA were ruined due to over-pollution.
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ironic, no?


dry heat


it was too hot today. i think it hit around 100 degrees sometime in the afternoon when i passed out for yet another nap (...when can i stop using jetlag as my excuse?) my sisters had their first day of school today, and this heat wave just sort of mocked them of their summer that was officially over =/

found this romper on sale at FCUK while in Hong Kong. i've been poking around lately for a perfect one that doesn't make me look like im 12 again. i like that the black and the wrap waist on this one makes it look a little dressier

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romper: FCUK tank and sandals: Old Navy, purse: Nine West; sunglasses: F21, owl necklace: another taiwan steal =)



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skirt -reworked dress, top -F21, necklace -taiwan street market, peeptoe booties -JCampbell, sunglasses -Marshalls

as materialistic as it sounds, it feels good to be reunited with the other 60% of my closet i didn't pack for taiwan. this skirt was from an old homecoming dress from... 6 years ago maybe? anyways, i thought it was fabulous then for its rich red color and asymmetric cut, but in hindsight, the top part of the dress was hideous. earlier this summer i finally just chopped the top off, added some elastic and a drawstring, and now i have a new skirt!

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i grabbed this cool dinosaur skeleton necklace at the night market while looking for souveniors right before i left taiwan, isn't it cool??

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it feels great being back at home... some changes around the house - new ceiling lights, and a full length mirror, which for some reason that still escapes me, my mom (hi mom) decided to hang in our hallway closet... where we keep cleaning supplies and board games...
since my sister stole mine when i left for college, i'm claiming the hall closet one for my room now! =)

a lot of reorganizing and cleaning out my room. (since i never really did it when i moved back from college in may) it's a pain in the butt. i know people always complain about how their closet is too small... i've come to realize that mine is poorly made. really. it's behind the main door so you gotta wiggle around to get to it, and it really needs two-tiers of hangers. ugh, oh well, you work with what you've got right?

i'll stop rambling now. just a quick shot of some in n out -we headed straight over from LAX. it's nice being back you guys =)

in n out

p.s. i really shouldn't be awake now if i'm trying to beat this jet lag =/


going going, back to back to


bye tw 0

haha, not that you guys really want to see a photo of my ocd-semi-packed suitcase, but there it is. note some trinkets from the kenting weekend =) anyways, i am all packed and almost off to americaaaa. thank goodness for free wifi at the taoyuan airport, best idea ever.

as much as i hate to leave, there really is not much of a point staying here longer (although i definitely considered it). pretty much all my friends have returned home to start school, and it really is time for be to go home and finally buckle down on GRE-ing and grad school apps. =/
it was a fabulous summer though. i'll admit i was a bit skeptical before arriving -even during the first couple weeks. Taiwan was never one of those places i lusted over and dreamed of traveling to (aka paris, rome, greece). it was always sort of the routine trip every few years, with tons of family and food. now i can say with confidence that i'm sure i'll be back regularly -a part of my life is rooted in Taiwan and it always will be, even if i try to deny it and the rest of my Chinese heritage. (WOW this sounds so cheesy) it does make me a little sad though, knowing that even when i do come back it won't ever be the same. this group of friends that i've made here through TTT will probably never be completely reunited in the same manner.

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well now, that's depressing, hah. i'm gonna go now and watch a video of the making of gucci's f/w 09 campaign.
oh yea, and the amount of duty free i've browsed through in the past couple days mocks me =(


Hong Kong // overindulgent consumerism

just got back to taipei from hong kong yesterday evening. been busy packing and seeing family before i fly back to CALIFORNIA tomorrow. yipeee it's been so long... get me some nachos and guacamole stat.

anyways, hong kong, definitely doable in 2 days, unless you have endless funds and a burning loyalty to brand-name goods... then you really can shop till you drop. we tried to squeeze some touristy things in between the malls =)
here are some photos...

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day view of pretty much all HK from victoria's peak


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watching the light show across from Hong Kong Island on the ave. of stars

big buddha! do you see it? (lan tau island)

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obligatory touristy picture

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alter at Po Lin Monastery

shopping was everywhereeee. seriously. at like every subway stop, at the top of this scenic peak, a bus ride away from the monastery. it was almost a little ridiculous. i guess the no sales tax + cheaper than usual luxury goods get people all riled up.

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pretty display wall at H&M

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i found the bestttttttt wool coat at H&M on Canton St. best but not perfect, which is why i didn't buy it =( but it was so beautifulllll. i have some pretty embarassing dressing room pics that i might post soon, hehe.


food porn

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food 5

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food 2

food 1

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a visual feast to tempt your eyes and satisfy my stomach. (no worries, this was not all over one meal, hehe) just a quick post before i jump on a plane to hong kong in a few hours!

on another note, saying goodbye sucks, every time. i've had an amazing time this summer with TTT in taiwan and i'm going to miss this place more than i ever thought i would...

food 9


Uniform Project

i love this.
the concept - same dress (well, 7 dresses, but the same one) worn everyday for a whole year. sustainable fashion. because even if the t-shirts you buy are made from organic cotton and the fur you wear is fake, you're still using up the earth's resources. and frankly, fashion is way too consumer-driven anyways. plus, this is a great way to push your creative buds and create "new" outfits for 365 days!

uniform project

such a cool idea! i'm excited to continue following it =)


you spin me right round

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went to the huge ferris wheel at the miramar park in taipei a few nights ago. it's huge and pretty glitzy at night with all the flashing LEDs. we waited extra long to sit in a completely transparent (glass?) box to later freak out on top, haha.

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ferriswheel 3

ferriswheel 1
weird pic, it looks like we're in a submarine or something. btw, thanks clemence for the pics! =)

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a quick what-i-wore even though the outfit is nothing special. oops, excuse the annoyed expression and sweaty face
ferriswheel 5
jean: old, don't remember, top: rando from some dpt. store, necklace: f21, jacket: BCBG, headband: H&M

i unfortunately haven't been able to spend that much time recently in the grand ole blog-o-sphere. been much too busy with all those things that start piling up when you're about to leave. last minute hanging out, we had to give our presentations all day yesterday, and a closing banquet tonight, all those "last week in taiwan, we MUST hang out" nights.

oh also! i am going to Hong Kong in 4 days!!!!! totally stoked, and if anybody has any good restaurant/sightseeing/shopping suggestions, holler back =)


rain rain go away


i am so over this rain. it wasn't even cool the first time... rain in the summer sucks.


Longshan and no snakes

longshan 5

I guess this is sort of a tourist spot in Taipei because of all the culture and religion. The architecture of the temple was stunning though, with the flowers, incense, and (later) rain, it was completely gorgeous. I totally felt like I was intruding the whole time though as I watched people go through their routines, praying and making offerings. I don't know if I could worship in a temple... I feel like it is such a private thing.

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This is my last week of the internship, with Friday being a long tedious day of academic presentations, ugh. Anyways, I had one last "sick" day to take advantage of, and today was the best day to skip this week =) What I did instead of sitting at a library desk/ listening to Taiwanese that I don't understand:
  • woke up early and went for a jog
  • clocked in some serious 2 hours of GRE study time
  • read some more of the library books I checked out over the weekend. Right now, Fat Land by Greg Critser (because I can never read too many of these -America is fat, why? let me elaborate on the kajillion reasons why- books)
  • got my butt up to go see Longshan Temple, in addition to the nearby Herbal Medicine St. and Huaxi Night Market (aka Snake Alley). by the way, I was totally ready to try eating snake, but, well for one thing it was still late afternoon, so not much was open. But those snakes are HUUUUUGEEE, and they even have to display all the rats they feed it too! ...I chickened out.
  • almost ALMOST bought these two gorgeous necklaces. decided against it, partly because my haggling skills suck and I didn't want to make a fool out of myself. but now I really want them again... maybe I'll go back? haha, oh indecision...
  • finished that pain in the butt powerpoint presentation for TTT
  • uploaded photos on facebook (haha, no but seriously, that's an accomplishment)
In conclusion, I had a waayyy more productive day skipping work than I've ever had at work. Lesson: always skip work when you can. =)